Expected Man Utd line-up vs Villarreal | Van de Beek and Fred start
Manchester United will be aiming to return to winning ways when they face Villarreal in Tuesday’s Champions League group stage clash.
The Red Devils suffered a shock 4-1 Premier League loss at Watford on Saturday. It was their fifth defeat in just seven league matches.
This led to the dismissal of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer from the head coach role after three years. Michael Carrick is on temporary charge.
There should be a response from the players. An away victory would put United in the driving seat to reach the last 16 of the competition.
The club are equal on points (7) with the Yellow Submarines, but they are top on the head-to-head after the 2-1 win at Old Trafford.
Here is how they could line up against Unai Emery’s side.
Goalkeeper: David de Gea has been one of United’s stand-out performers this term, and he starred against Watford despite the humiliating loss. The Spaniard made three key saves and kept out a penalty. He is expected to start in goal ahead of Dean Henderson.
Defence: There should be an enforced change at left-back with Luke Shaw having been substituted against Watford due to concussion. Diogo Dalot came off the bench to replace him, but Alex Telles may get the nod tomorrow.
Dalot had a tough outing against Villarreal at right-back in the reverse fixture. In that same game, Telles scored his maiden United goal with a sublime volley to lead the comeback. The Brazilian is a more attack-minded full-back and appears likely to start.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka was slow in tracking back against Watford, but could continue at right-back. Harry Maguire is only suspended domestically after his sending off last weekend. He is expected to partner Victor Lindelof in central defence.
Midfield: Carrick may reshuffle the midfield with Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic dropping to the bench. Donny van de Beek appears in line for a rare start after standing out in the second half of the Watford game with an early goal.
Fred was an unused substitute last weekend. The decision was probably influenced by the fact that he travelled farthest during the international break. Matic struggled in the holding role at Watford as he was dispossessed regularly. Fred could make the XI ahead of him.
Attack: No changes are on the cards. Jadon Sancho stepped up his game in the second half against Watford. He combined well with Van de Beek from the right wing and delivered quality crosses into the box that were not capitalised upon.
The England international should keep his place ahead of Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial while Mason Greenwood is out with COVID-19. Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford should continue in the number 10 and left-wing roles respectively.
Cristiano Ronaldo is a definite starter up front. The Portuguese has been instrumental in United’s Champions League campaign, scoring in all four games (five goals). There have been two late winners from him while he salvaged a point at Atalanta with a last-gasp equaliser.
Man Utd line-up (4-2-3-1) vs Villarreal
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